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''I am packing up and leaving town...''

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When one lawyer for Fakoya objected to the brutal hours everyone involved had faced in recent days, Vega accused both sides of wasting time and forcing a trial that should have been wrapped up within four weeks into a six week burden. Part of Vega's incredulous words, ''It's been very challenging for the court to juggle and give you two additional weeks and you still didn't get it done...I told counsel this case had to be done by Thursday because I am packing up and leaving town and going on vacation for two weeks''. This came days before Christmas.

The jury had already spent thirteen hours in the jury box on the day of closing arguments, only to be directed into deliberations right away. One juror said, ''I had to fight my way not to fall asleep...we shouldn't have been there that long''. Even requests by both the defense and prosecution to poll the jury regarding their level of alertness fell on deaf ears.


Unfortunately, and here's where it gets a bit sticky when it comes to Vega, a quick look at the judge's calendar shows she routinely spent less than five hours a day and some days less than four hours hearing the case. Often, she adjourned before 2 p.m. so that she could see her daughter's soccer games. Another juror, once he found out why they were forced to deliberate at 3 a.m., said, ''I think that's inappropriate...the jurors have family obligations too and they stuck it out''.

This isn't the first time folks have questioned the judge. In the now infamous motorcycle gang battle in the middle of a popular Las Vegas bar, two defense attorneys said her trial date conflicted with other court appearances they had previously scheduled in other cases. Her reply was that she ''needed to schedule it''. She also refused to order a source hearing regarding at least a few of the members of the Bandidos Outlaw Motorcycle Gang. The district attorney wanted to know where they were getting funds for bail when they claimed they had no money for an attorney.

Vega's vacation should be wrapping up soon and odds are that she's not going to like what she comes back to.


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